February at MayDay Rooms

MayDay Rooms' Events

Preparing for a flood in the desert - reading & discussion – organised by Hard to Get in collaboration with MDR
Saturday 2nd February, 5:30- 9pm

Stuart Hall writes in Familiar Stranger: ‘Foucault argues that, far from successfully repressing what is unspeakable, prohibition actually generates productive linguistic proliferation, which paradoxically signals the ultimate failure of repression. Prohibited from saying more, he suggests, we find other ways - more indirect, more displaced, but also simultaneously more insistent - of, well, saying it.’

It seems important to acknowledge the difficulty of communicating in a repressive context, and to recognise the multiple and complex forms that this communcation may take. A previous ‘Hard to Get’ event focussed on ‘women’s writing’ as a simple category, perhaps somehow transparent to itself and to its readers. This event seeks to disturb that category with a focus on other ways of, well, ‘saying it’.

This event will begin at 17:30 with readings, followed by a discussion prompted by the the works read and the ideas that arise from them. We’ll try to end by 19:30 at the latest, so that we can all head upstairs to continue talking over a meal in the Mayday rooms kitchen.

Joining us to read and discuss will be: Sophie Collins, Jasleen Kaur, Mira Mattar, Holly Pester, Yasmine Seale.

If you have any questions about accessibility get in touch at: [email protected] 

MDR Social
Friday 22nd February, 6-11pm

The first MDR Social for 2019 is finally here! It will be a special night - come together for food and drink, meet comrades, and plan the way through the wreckage of the next few months. Add it to your calendars and we'll keep you updated. 

"Squatting Is A Part of the Housing Movement- Practical Squatting Histories from 1968 to Now" launch
Tuesday 26th February, 6:30-8:30pm

Join us for the launch of the publication 'Squatting Is Part of The Housing Movement: Practical Squatting Histories from 1968 to Now'. This publication is the outcome of a residency in MayDay Rooms, and is part of our Housing Struggles Archive that we compiled last year. After an extensive research and a gathering of materials from different archives, including 56a Infoshop, there is now a three box collection of materials on squatting history in the UK. This publication with put the material in context. The launch will involve a short discussion on the issues the publication is covering, you'll get the chance to grab a pamphlet and we'll then have drinks to celebrate the end of this wonderful collaboration. 

Leftovers: Mediawiki Workshop
Wednesday 27th February, 7-9:30pm

As part of our new experimental digital archiving project leftove.rs we will be running regular meet-ups to explore different ways to building databases and models for archival distribution, and reusing material.

Join us for an evening of collective editing, tagging and learning about all things MediaWiki. During this session we will be starting to build an online repository of MayDay Rooms digitised archival  material, and exploring how the wiki software can help us forge collections between materials and histories.

Open to all. Please bring a laptop and email [email protected] if you wish to attend so we can get an idea of numbers.
Find out more about Mediawikis here:

MayDay Rooms' News

New accessions in the archive for January 

We recently received a large collection (9 boxes) of eco-anarchist materials and publications from the 1990s and early 2000s. The collection comprises American and British Earth First magazines and newsletters, as well as runs of other radical environmental and anarchist publications, including Anarchy magazine, Green Anarchist, Black Clad Messenger, Subversion, alongside many other zines, occasional publications and ephemera. The collection documents actions from around the world that were influenced by the proliferation of eco-anarchist ideas, from the inspiration drawn from the Zapatistas in Chiapas, through to the anti-roads movement in the UK, and European summit-hopping at the turn of the millennium. We will be organising an event, in which we'll start unpacking and organising these boxes in March. Watch this space!

We have received a collection of 1970s ephemera from Maurice Herson. This includes an extremely rare short run of the Newcastle alternative paper Muther Grumble from 1971-1972, alongside materials ranging from situationist pamphlets to peace movement publications.

Seth Wheeler has deposited two boxes of materials. Some of this collection is a personal collection of ephemera from social movements during the cycle of struggles from the late 1990s through the early 2000s. Other parts of the deposit are a wide-ranging collection of radical ephemera from the 1960s to the present, including some rare student newspapers from 1968 and lots of other fun stuff.

A number of people who were part of the 1999 UCL Occupation against the introduction of tuition fees are putting together an archive of materials from the time. They have recently deposited a number of Hi8 and minidisc recordings, and are building a paper archive too, which will eventually be housed at MayDay Rooms. You can find out more about the project here: https://ucpoundsweseepeople.wordpress.com/

Finally, we recently received approximately 100 issues of Searchlight Magazine – which reported on far right movements. The magazines run from the 1970s to the 2000s and include detailed reports of fascist and racist organisations and actions both in the UK and internationally, and anti-racist and anti-fascist responses. The collection includes issues from the whole period but is not complete, so we will be cataloguing it soon and will try to fill the gaps.

MayDay Rooms' Hosted Events

Angry Workers- Class Struggle Reading Group
Thursday 7th February, 6:30-8:30pm

AngryWorkers are hosting a reading group based on texts about different aspects of class struggle. We hope to have a meeting every two months. There will be a text (maximum 30 pages) to read before the meeting, the first one we’ve chosen is Mike Davis’ essay, ‘Old Gods, New Enigmas’. This is Davis’ first text directly about the question of working class struggle and its revolutionary potential (his previous books were Planet of Slums and City of Quartz).

At second glance the text seems unnecessarily complicated, but we still think that their are important thoughts to be unearthed, e.g. about the relation between economic and political struggle, the relationship between industrial workers and the working poor, the role of agency and organisation. We will summarise the text for the meeting and present the main points for discussion.

The text can be accessed here. We collated it as a printable file: mike davis
Everyone welcome! We look forward to seeing you there!

The Great Moving Left Show Session 1: Owen Hatherley on Landscapes of Corbynism
Friday 8th February, 6-8pm

The Great Moving Left Show invites you to the first session in a three-part series of participatory, political discussions on the ‘Landscapes of Corbynism’. Focused on exploring what a socialist urban and spatial politics might look like today, the contradictory relationship such a vision would have with local government, and the position of a Corbyn-led government in this picture, we will trace the British Left’s changing attitudes to housing and urban policy over the past decades. To do this, we will be in conversation with renowned author and journalist Owen Hatherley.

The event will begin at 6pm, and will be followed by a social in which attendees can meet, greet and have a drink!

Session 2: Friday 15th February, 6pm with Keir Milburn – author of the forthcoming book ‘Generation Left’ (Polity Press) and writer on the potentials of Public-Common Partnerships.

Session 3: Friday 22nd February, 6pm with Ben Beach – architectural worker involved in the fight to save Latin Village and researcher of the the impact of riots on regeneration programs. He will speak on ‘The fight for the city: how can the left build its own urban space?’


Folk off and die
Saturday 9th February, 8-10pm

Folk off and die! An informal gathering of traditional music-players and music-listeners. As far as we know the music will mostly be from
England, Ireland, Scotland and the Appalachian mountains of the USA, but we will exclude nowhere and include anyone who wants to play a tune, sing a (radical) song, or just listen.

Bring a drink if you want one. We’ll make some food but more snacks are always welcome.

Angry Workers: Brazil- A proletarian response to populism
Thursday 14th February, 7-9pm

Come join us in a presentation and discussion with a comrade from the Invisíveis group in Brazil. He will be talking about the work of his collective, their experiences in organising in their workplaces and local communities, the general situation in Brazil after Bolsanaro’s election, and the question of addressing far-right views from a proletarian perspective.

All events are free and open to all and usually there is no need to book, unless mentioned otherwise.